Equal Insurance HIV Act Announced; California Bill Aims to End Life and Disability Denials Based on HIV-positive Status

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Long Beach) and Equality California recently announced the Equal Insurance HIV Act, Senate Bill 961. If enacted, the bill would extend anti-discrimination protections in life and disability income insurance products for those living with HIV. The proposed bill seeks to overturn a law passed in 1989 when treatment for someone who tested HIV-positive was extremely limited. With recent advancements in HIV testing and more effective treatment, however, a person who is HIV-positive can now live a long healthy life. In fact, HIV status is generally treated by medical professionals like any other treatable chronic condition. If enacted, SB961 will ensure that life and disability insurance companies can no longer refuse life and disability income insurance applications for HIV-positive individuals based solely on a positive HIV test.

CAHU’s Women’s Leadership Summit Announces Agenda

There’s still time to register for CAHU’s 2020 Women’s Leadership Conference in Las Vegas! Here’s what’s in store:

Wed, March 25
  • Check In & Registration (Opens at 1pm)
  • Welcome Reception & Opening Speakers (Begins at 3:30pm)
  • Vendor Time
Thursday, March 26
  • AM Wellness Session
  • EVENT KEYNOTE: Lori Taylor
  • Brunch & Bubbles – Vegas Style
  • Empowerment Keynote: Emma Fox
  • Leadership Keynote: Pat Griffey and Stephanie Berger
  • Words of Wisdom (WoW) Talks & Interactive Workshops– We’ll be delivering some wisdom! Join us!
  • Ladies Night Party: Get glammed up for a decadent evening of nibbles, libations and entertainment!
Friday, March 27
    • AM Wellness Session
    • Wellness Panel
    • Health & Wellbeing Keynotes: Jenna Phillips Ballard and Natalie Jill
    • Summit Closes at 12:30pm
    • Post-Summit Networking at onsite pool area

More info at CAHU or at the Facebook Event Page

SIIA Giving Away one Free Trip to DC Fly-In

The Self Insurance Institute of America is giving away one free trip to its DC Fly-In event April 21-22.  Register here for the drawing. Good luck!


Drug Channels Has Medicare Part D Enrollment Lowdown

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first 2020 data on enrollment in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Adam Fein over at Drug Channels has crunched the numbers: for 2020, 92% of seniors are enrolled in PDPs with preferred pharmacy networks. That’s an increase from last year’s 88%. Fein says in 2020 Walmart is poised to capture market share from Walgreens, while CVS has maintained its position. Rite Aid’s position looks better than it has in previous years. Fein says:

…I expect that pharmacies will continue to accept low reimbursements and suffer with direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) payments in exchange for increasing or maintaining store traffic.


Medicare Warning: Why and How to Insist on ‘Admitted’ versus ‘Observation’ Status

Any of your clients on Medicare should understand the nuances of being classified as an ‘admitted’ patient versus ‘observation’ status at a hospital. This post by Margie Barrie lays it out perfectly. The difference is huge money.

Papa Aligns with Alignment Healthcare

Papa Inc. announced its partnership with Alignment Healthcare to provide “Grandkids On-Demand” for qualifying members of its Medicare Advantage plans. Papa will provide qualified Alignment members with assistance around the home, technology support and general companionship to reduce senior loneliness and social isolation, while improving overall mood. Alignment Healthcare offers health plan options to California residents through Alignment Health Plan.

American Association for Medicare Supplement Completes 2020 Medigap Cost Comparison for those turning 65

With Medigap Plan F no longer available for new enrollees, folks at the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance compared Plan G. Here’s what they found:  A 65-year-old man in Manhattan buying Medicare Supplement insurance (Plan G) could pay (as little as) $268-a-month or as much as $476-a-month.  A 65-year-old woman shopping for Medigap Plan G in Dallas could find coverage for $99 or $381 (monthly).  Check out this link to see the top 10 cities (yes, Los Angeles and San Francisco make the list).

AAMSI’s Jesse Slome says “more than ever you are competing with huge entities spending hundreds of millions on television advertisements.  The one thing that can set you apart is positioning yourself as a local educator and consumer advocate able to help an individual compare the various options and get the best coverage for the best price.”

Slome invites agents to check out the Association’s online directory of agents, which has roughly 1,000 agents listed.


United Concordia: Get Kids to the Dentist Early

It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month and United Concordia wants parents to understand that a relationship with good oral and overall health begins with introducing their children to the dentist at an early age. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit a dentist soon after their first baby teeth appear, and no later than their first birthday.

The initial office visit is more about comfort than dental care. It allows children to become familiar with the dentist’s chair and instruments, while their parents discuss the best ways to care for their teeth and gums. The dentist will typically do a quick exam to look for any developing problems.

One visit a year is plenty at that age, but after age 2, children should see the dentist every six months. Parents should regularly clean their gums, and then brush their teeth as soon as they come in. And they should take care to use the right toothpaste — and the right amount.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children ages 3 to 6. Parents should continue to brush their child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush, until they’re comfortable that the child can brush on his or her own. More info at United Concordia.


Gelb Becomes Valenz CEO; Gasbarro Named COO
Vālenz, a medical cost reduction and claims flow management organization, announced the appointment of Rob Gelb as Chief Executive Officer, and Amy Gasbarro as Chief Operating Officer. Since joining Valenz, Gelb has been credited with integrating key acquisitions that created the foundation for the company’s single-source solutions and data analytics platform. Gasbarro has extensive leadership background spanning two decades at companies focused on population health and cost management solutions for self-funded employers.


  • NAIFA Los Angeles/Society of Financial Service Professionals Award & Leadership Recognition luncheon, February 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m, Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, members (includes NAIFA, FSP, WIFS, LAAHU, NAHU, CAHU, VCAHU): $50.00, More info here or email janet@naifala.org. — We’ll see you here!
  • OCAHU 8th Annual Business Development Summit– We’ll see you here!
    February 28, DoubleTree by Hilton-Anaheim/Orange County
    Contact: Gail James Clarke (714) 441-8951, ext.3, email: orangecountyahu@yahoo.com
  • The 29th Annual IEAHU Symposium, March 10, Riverside Convention Center– We’ll see you here!
    Email Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters for more info: ieahu.administration@gmail.com
  • Employee Benefits Planning Association, 2020 Employee Benefits Summit, March 13, Omni Los Angeles, more info here.










  • SIIA Self-Insured Health Plan Executive Forum
    March 16-18, Charleston, SC. More info here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference,
    March 25-27
    JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas
    We’ll see you here!
    More info at www.cahu.org.
  • April 6-7
    The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection
    Philadelphia, PA
  • SIIA Washington, DC Fly-In (Meet Your Members of Congress)
    April 21-22,
    Washington, DC
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium-  We’ll see you here!
    April 22, Skirball Center, Los Angeles, info and registration here.
  • GGAHU Annual Sales Symposiumm April 23, Crowne Plaza Concord/Walnut Creek, info and registration here.
  • The 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo
    May 18-20 Hilton Austin in Austin, TX.
  • NorCal Medicare Senior Summit– August date and more info soon!
  • SIIA National Conference & Expo
    October 11-13
    JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
    Phoenix, AZ
    Registration will be open in April
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